Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

April 25, 2014

Life in a clown's shoes

(Continued)

“Everyone thought I’d grow out it,” he said. “I guess I showed them.”

He laughed when he said that — a weird kind of belly laugh that seemed oddly fitting for a clown.

By age 14, Aaron had taught himself to juggle and ride a unicycle. He took a class to learn how to paint his face just right. He even adopted the name Melvino for his clown persona.

After he graduated, he worked at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania performing a juggling and comedy routine.

All the while, he tried to find a spot in the circus. He sent his resume, photos and videos of himself to circuses across the country. He did that for three years before he got a call from a circus that wanted him for the show.

The rest is history. The 31-year-old has been a circus clown for a decade now. It’s taken him to 43 states so far, and he’ll be checking even more off his list later this year.

This way of life, it’s the only one he knows how to live. When this circus ends in October, he’ll probably join another one to fill the gap, he said.

If he stays in one place for more than two weeks now, he gets bored and is ready to hit the road.

So instead, he wakes up every morning in a strange, new town. He spends an hour applying his clown makeup to become Melvino – the ultimate showman.

Then he does what he knows he was born to do. He entertains.

Someday he might retire. Then again, maybe he won’t.

“I don’t know what else I’d do,” he said.

— Lindsey Ziliak

[friday] editor/ mesmerized by Melvino

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